Former U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia delivered a candidate-like speech Tuesday on the need to maintain a strong Republican Party in New York, but said he himself hasn’t decided on running for any particular office.
Garcia has been touted by New York Republican Chairman Ed Cox as a potential challenger to state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in 2014, when all statewide offices are on the ballot. Along with his speech in front of the state Republican Committee on Tuesday, Garcia, of Irvington, Westchester County, has also traveled to Livingston County in recent months to speak at a Republican dinner.
When asked whether he considers himself a candidate for office, Garcia said he does not.
“No, I’m not a candidate. What I said up there, and it’s sincere, is it’s important for there to be a strong Republican Party,” Garcia told reporters after his speech. “I’d like to help with that regard. If that means at some point running for some office, I would consider that. If it means doing other things, speaking, I would do that. I am not a declared candidate.”
While Garcia said he wouldn’t rule anything out for 2014—“You’d be crazy to do that,” he said—he said any eventual decision would depend on the needs of the party and familial considerations.
He declined comment on whether he’s eyeing the attorney general’s office in particular, or about the job performance of Schneiderman.
“I really wouldn’t want to comment on any particular office or any particular plan,” Garcia said.
Garcia was the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York from 2005 to 2008. He is currently a private attorney with Krikland & Ellis LLP.
Cox, who was unanimously elected to a third two-year term by the Republican Committee on Tuesday, said Garcia would be a “superb statewide candidate.”
“It’s clear that he is interested in running for a statewide office in 2014,” Cox said. “He’s testing the waters.”
Cox continued: “This is a man who genuinely cares. He has the ability to do it. He loves public service and has done very well in private practice. He occupied the most prestigious prosecuting attorney job in the nation—the Southern District of New York. And from there, you can go to any statewide office.”
(AP file photo)